India backs UN resolution against Israel 

India backs UN resolution against Israel 


India supported a draft resolution in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that expressed deep concern about Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the Syrian Golan Heights. The Syrian Golan is an area in southwest Syria that Israel seized on June 5, 1967.

Where is Golan Heights situated?

  • The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau in southwestern Syria, roughly 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Damascus, with an area of 1,000 square kilometres. Its political and strategic significance belies its small size.
  • During the last phases of the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria. During the fighting, the majority of the Syrian Arab residents abandoned the area.

What is the historical background behind the Israeli occupation of Golan Heights?

  • Six-Day War (1967):
      • During the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel conquered the Golan Heights, a key plateau in southwestern Syria.
      • In a six-day confrontation, Israel fought various Arab governments, including Syria, Jordan, and Egypt.
  • Strategic Importance:
      • Because of its elevated terrain, the Golan Heights gave a tremendous military advantage, allowing whoever controlled it to observe and potentially attack the areas below.
      • It had strategic importance because it overlooked northern Israel and the Sea of Galilee.
  • Cease-fire and UN  Resolution 242:
      • A cease-fire was declared following the Six-Day War. The United Nations Security Council enacted Resolution 242, which called for the departure of Israeli forces from seized territory, notably the Golan Heights, during the war.
  • Yom Kippur Conflict (1973):
      • During the Yom Kippur War (also known as the October War) in 1973, Syria sought but failed to retake control of the Golan Heights.
      • A cease-fire was eventually reached, and Israel retained control of the Golan Heights.
  • Golan Heights Law (1981):
    • Israel formally annexed the Golan Heights in 1981 by enacting the “Golan Heights Law,” which extended Israeli law, jurisdiction, and administration to the region.
    • The world community strongly opposed the decision, and the United Nations Security Council issued a resolution declaring it “null and void.”

What is the Golan Heights Law (1981)?

  • The Golan Heights Law (1981) was an Israeli law that extended Israel’s laws, jurisdiction, and administration to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The Knesset passed the measure on December 14, 1981, by a vote of 63-21. 
  • The Golan Heights Law violated international law, namely UN Charter article 18(2). 
  • The Golan Heights Law marked Israel’s legal annexation of the region it had taken from Syria in 1967.
  • The Golan Heights Law was widely condemned by the international world, including the United Nations.
  • On December 17, 1981, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted Resolution 497, which declared Israel’s imposition of its laws on the Golan Heights “null and void and without international legal effect.”
  • Several UN resolutions, including Resolution 242, called for Israel’s withdrawal from territory occupied during the Six-Day War, including the Golan Heights.

Which Resolution was passed to counter the Israel occupation?

Two main key resolutions relevant to the Golan Heights are United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 and 497.

Resolution 242

  • In November 1967, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 242. It demanded that Israeli soldiers evacuate from regions conquered during the 1967 Six-Day War. The resolution also connected withdrawal to the parties’ establishment of peace. 
    • The resolution also recognized each state’s sovereignty, geographical integrity, and political independence in the region.
    • All claims or situations of belligerency were called to be dropped.
    • Asked the UN Secretary-General to designate an Envoy to help resolve the crisis.

Resolution 497

  • Declaration of Annexation as Null and Void:
    • According to the resolution, Israel’s installation of its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the Golan Heights is “null and void and without international legal effect.”
  • Demand for Withdrawal:
    • The resolution confirms the Fourth Geneva Convention’s application to the Golan Heights and urges Israel to reverse its decision to annex the land.
  • Position of the International Community:
    • The international community’s criticism of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights is reflected in UN Security Council Resolution 497, which underlines the need for a peaceful resolution to the situation.

What is India’s Position in the Conflict?

  • India maintains a neutral stance on the Syrian-Israeli issue, urging all parties to display moderation and peacefully resolve their differences via discussions.
  • India has consistently backed Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and has urged for a halt to outsider meddling in its internal affairs.
  • In the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), India endorsed a draft resolution that expressed deep concern about Israel’s reluctance to withdraw from the Syrian Golan Heights. 


The Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights is a major geopolitical problem with consequences for regional stability and Middle Eastern international relations.